A Gigantic Office Building At 25 Kent Avenue Is Coming To Williamsburg
The construction project under the new zoning type marks the beginning of office development frenzy in Brooklyn.
Williamsburg is many things—hipster mecca, foodie paradise, a refuge for Hassidic Jews. A top destination for briefcase-carrying disciplined nine-to-fivers is not one of them. You live in Williamsburg. You play in Williamsburg. But work? That’s across the Hudson River. Good luck getting there on time with the infamous L train shutdown.
This trend, however, is coming to an end. It looks like Williamsburg (and soon other Brooklyn neighborhoods) is about to get featured in a new role—a center for the young workforce. The neighborhood’s first new office property in 50 years—a gigantic mixed-use Class-A building at 25 Kent Avenue—has been brought to you by developers Rubenstein Partners and Heritage Equity Partners. They just broke ground at the end of October, marking the new era of office development boom in Brooklyn.
According to Rubenstein Partners, the future eight-story $400 million office hub will occupy an entire block adjacent to the East River waterfront. The building will host 480,000 square feet of commercial space. It will look quite stunning, constructed of brick and glass, with terraces, common spaces, cafes and river views.
“This is a building that’s going to continue to perpetuate the deep roots of entrepreneurship, innovation and light manufacturing that is so critically a part of the fabric of Brooklyn,” the president and founder of Heritage Equity Partners Toby Moskovits told Bisnow, “No neighborhood is whole without a place to work, as well as live and play.”
The date of construction completion is yet to be established but the developing company seems to have a solid idea of how much the office space in the building will cost.
According to the Rubenstein Partners’ spokesperson Jeremiah Kane, pricing per square foot will be on par with what Midtown South office spaces are asking—which, in case you are wondering, was $83.19 a foot in the third quarter of 2016 and, as The Wall Street Journal reported, will keep ascending to new heights.
Who can possibly pay this kind of rent? Well, according to the article in Technical.ly Brooklyn, Kane said he had three types of potential tenants in mind: growing start-ups with “the Brooklyn ethos in their DNA” (Those cafes better serve kale salads—Ed.), individual departments of large corporations and, finally, smaller businesses like advertising and design companies.
Sounds a bit ambitious, but not surprising at all, given the fact that The Urban Land Institute’s 2017 Emerging Trends in Real Estate report just ranked Brooklyn as the US’s top office buyer’s market.
The office development boom coming to the borough is long overdue, the main reason for the delay being NYC’s outdated industrial zoning, which is the primary reason why Williamsburg of today has all those boutique hotels, bars, clubs—but no office space.
The 25 Kent Avenue is actually the first project to be constructed under a new type of zoning for commercial-industrial development in North Brooklyn. It required a special permit approved by the City Council and, as a result, the building is larger than what it would have been previously allowed to be, and parking requirements are way less demanding. Think less small stores with large parking lots like Whole Foods—more tall office buildings.
According to New York Yimby, 25 Kent Avenue might just serve as a model for similar development projects. Next stop—Gowanus.
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